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ADOPTION: Re S (Placement Order: Revocation) [2008] EWCA Civ
Date:17 OCT 2008

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Keene LJJ and Hedley J; 7 October 2008)

When considering a mother's application for leave to revoke a placement order, the judge had been wrong to conclude that the child had been placed for adoption because he was living with a foster carer who although not committed to adopting the child had not precluded doing so. The judge's approach had been recklessly pragmatic; a child was not deemed to have been placed for adoption for the purposes of Adoption and Children Act 2002, s 24 until all three stages had been completed: (i) adoption being in the best interest of the child; (ii) grant of a placement order; and (iii) placement with specific adopters. Section 18(5) required the court to focus on 'prospective' adopters and the judge, in identifying the foster carer as a 'potential' adopter, had been using the wrong adjective.